You finally found that one person who makes you smile, that one person that you can’t plan your day without and that one person that you don’t want to live without out.
Congratulations !!! That is a true sign that you are ready to make it official.
Now comes the hard part – choosing a perfect shaped diamond to make her happy. With so many shapes to choose from round, princess, oval, heart, radiant, emerald, asscher, cushion, marquise, pear, the choices are endless. After that it is time to select a setting and you have thousands of choices and that’s a whole other story.
For some this can be a daunting task, but don’t let that be as this is one of the happiest moments of your life.
Let’s start with the shapes of the diamonds- we have some basic facts about some of the shapes to help you make that choice.
1- Round diamond
A round diamond is actually one of the most popular shapes used for engagement rings. It could be due to the fact that a round diamond signifies your love for eternity. Along with that round diamonds are superior compared to its competitors in terms of proper reflection of light due to the number of facets they have and the mechanics of their cut, thereby maximizing its sparkle. (find out more about facets on our 4C’s blog post) Almost all round diamonds are brilliant-cut, which means they have 58 facets.
An important thing to remember: due to the fact that the round diamonds are very popular and their yield low (due to maximum wastage while cutting) the prices of round diamonds are usually higher than its’ fancy shaped counterparts.
Round diamonds account for 75% of the diamonds in the market so they could lack individuality that some women look for. However round diamonds are chosen by those that consider themselves classic, timeless and traditional.
2- Princess cut diamond
The second most popular shape used for engagement rings are princess diamonds. Of all the square cut diamonds, the princess cut diamond comes closest to achieving the fire and brilliance similar to that of a round diamond.
One thing to remember is that carat to carat, the crown surface area of a princess cut is approximately 10% less than that of a round diamond, however due to its corners it creates the allusion of a greater size.
Along with that, the price-per-carat of a princess cut diamond tends to be lower than that of a round diamond. The greater efficiency during the cutting process leads to greater yield, hence a lower price.
Women who are looking for a diamond with a traditional feel but need that individuality aspect usually tends to choose this shape.
While setting a princess cut diamond it is important to remember to set the diamond with the prongs protecting the corners, which is the most likely location that can chip.
3- Oval diamond
The oval diamond shares a similar fire and brilliance as that of a round diamond- it is in fact a modified round diamond. Carat for carat, the crown surface area of an oval cut diamond is larger than that of a round diamond, so it creates the illusion of a greater size.
While picking an oval shaped diamond always look for the length to width ratio. This will help you determine if the diamond will look longer or more circular. A skinnier, longer oval is preferred by some as it gives the wearer the illusion of having longer and slender fingers.
One more thing to consider with an oval cut diamond is that they possess some degree of bow-tie. This happens because the light does not bounce back in the middle of the diamond due to the nature of the cut. It is seen more prominently in diamonds where the length to width ratio exceeds 1.50 (one and a half times long as they are wide). The diamond certificate alone cannot tell the severity of the bow-tie so it is best to get it inspected by your jeweler. Though the bow-tie effect is a part of the beauty of an oval diamond its best to get it visually inspected to make sure that it is not too severe.
Also the clarity and color is more important in an oval cut diamond than they are in a round shape.
Oval shaped diamonds are popular with women who want the brilliance of a round diamond, but want something a little more unique.
4- Marquise diamond
A boat shaped or football shaped marquise diamond is very similar in cut to that of a round diamond with 58 facets. This is another modified brilliant cut. Carat for carat, the crown surface area of a marquise cut diamond is larger than that of any diamond shape, so it creates the illusion of a greater size.
Similar to an oval cut diamond it is important to have a good length to width ratio. A ratio of 1.50 (one and a half times long as they are wide) maybe very similar to that of an oval diamond and a ratio of over 2.50 may lack brilliance and might have a severe bow-tie.
Like its oval counterpart, a marquise diamond is also popular with women that want the brilliance of a round diamond, along with the uniqueness of a fancy shape diamond.
5- Cushion cut diamond
A cushion cut diamond is a square cut with rounded corners, much like a cushion. It is an old mine cut and gives the cushion cut diamond an antique feel. Even though a cushion cut has the same number of facets as that of a round diamond- 58, it is not as fiery or brilliant as a round diamond. The reason is that traditional cushion cuts return light in chunkier patterns than that of modern cuts due to their large open facets. Due to this it is also recommended that you opt for the highest color and clarity that your budget permits when purchasing this cut of diamond.
However the newer modified cushion cuts have a fire and brilliance very similar to that of a radiant cut.
6- Radiant cut diamond
A radiant cut diamond is actually a square shaped diamond with the cut of a round diamond. This type of cut has 70 facets and makes for the best diamond in terms of light refraction. However due to its design the radiant cut requires more weight in the diamonds depth in order to optimize brilliance, and hence may appear smaller.
A radiant cut diamond also has a height to width ratio. Any ratio of 1.05 or less will appear square and when set will be hard to differentiate from a princess cut diamond. Any ratio of 1.05 or more will make this diamond seem longer and hence it is more popular with women looking for an emerald cut along with the added brilliance of a round cut.
A radiant cut also has the bow-tie, although not as much as in an oval, marquise and pear shaped diamond, but it increases with the length similarly to that of an oval diamond.
7- Emerald cut diamond
An emerald cut diamond is a very unique shape. It does not have the sparkle of a brilliant cut like the other diamonds. Some think it produces a “hall-of-mirrors” or a “staircase” effect. While less fiery, the long lines and dramatic flashes of light give the emerald cut an elegant appeal. This shape was initially developed for cutting emeralds and that’s where it gets its name.
An emerald cut also has a height to width ratio. An emerald cut looks most elegant in between the ratio of 1.30 to 1.50 (ideal being 1.40). This ratio emphasizes the beautiful parallel line facets and blocked corners.
8- Asscher cut diamond
An Asscher cut diamond is a square emerald cut, and has rounded/ cropped corners which make it look like an octagon. An asscher cut has 72 facets and they appear to be in concentric squares as you look down the table. It automatically draws the eye to the center of the diamond. This type of cut produces more brilliance than an emerald cut.
A classic asscher cut diamond is a square with a length to width ratio of 1.0, however they are found in rectangular shapes as well. Any ratio of 1.05 or less will appear square to the naked eye.
9- Pear cut diamond
This cut of diamond resembles a tear drop. This cut of diamond combines the features of a marquise and oval shaped diamond. The cut on it is similar to a round diamond. A pear shaped diamond is considered to be the most difficult to cut. Ideally, a pear shape diamond should have good symmetry, the point should line up with the apex of the rounded end. The upper end should appear like a semi-circle, and the upper and lower curves on the left and right side of the diamond should be uniform and should not have any straight edges. Pear shaped diamonds also posses the bow-tie effect if the diamond has not been cut properly. That too has to be visually inspected to see the severity of it. The ideal ratio for this type of diamond is anywhere between 1.40-1.70. A narrower pear shaped diamond is frequently used as dangle earring and a broader pear shaped diamond is frequently used as a solitaire.
We hope you find this information helpful for when you are ready to go out to look for the perfect shape of diamond for your loved one.